WHAT CLIENTS are looking for today are lawyers who are responsive and have all the information about their matter available all the time. The idea that one should need to wait to get back to the office for information is anachronistic. The success of every law firm has always been dependent on the quality of service provided by their lawyers; and that service, outside of legal skills, is largely dependent on the quality of the information that modern technology can deliver.
Traditionally, lawyers were lazy about this. They delegated IT decision-making to back office IT and accounting staff using the excuse that they were not tech savvy. But times have changed. Every lawyer knows how to use a smartphone. Power has shifted to the service provider, the front office – you, the lawyer – to make these buying decisions.
Most people use smartphones constantly. They expect their lawyer to be able to do the same. If you run a law firm, you don’t need a consultant or an IT department to tell you this. You know it. To achieve a minimum standard for 21st century practice, lawyers need:
- Mobility: work from anywhere – even when travelling or through bad weather;
- Productivity tools: with pressure on charge rates, efficiency is essential;
- Great client service: competition is fierce and loyalty no longer exists;
- Convenience: it needs to be easy so that your mental focus is on the matter at hand, not poor technology; and
- Lower cost: the cost of complex servers and expensive IT departments cannot be justified by small law firms.
With so much law being practiced out of the office, your smartphone should enable you to access all your matter information, record time, make file comments, read and compose emails. This aligns the way in which you work with your client’s expectations. The only real way for a law firm to thrive is by adopting new technologies and seeking a provider of systems for your firm that is committed to innovation – committed to keeping you a 21st century lawyer.
LEAP is a legal practice management software solution for small law firms. For more information visit leap.com.au